Possible changes to North Carolina hunting laws

The North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission is proposing almost 40 new regulations for the 2014-2015 hunting season.

The Commission held a meeting Wednesday night to inform the public of possible changes to wildlife management. The meeting was held at the Craven County Courthouse. 

At the meeting, the two proposed changes that garnered the most public reaction: allowing still hunters to use bait when hunting black bear, and increasing Game Land restrictions.

North Carolina Wildlife Executive Director, Gordon Myers, says the proposed changes are meant to protect the interests of multiple groups and individuals who are invested in Wildlife.

Myers states the proposal to allow black bear still hunters to use bait, would increase bear harvest for still hunters, and also reduce the inequity between still hunters and and hunters who use dogs. Myers states that since 2007, hunters who use dogs have been allowed to use bait.

Concerned individuals spoke up, arguing that by allowing bait, inexperienced hunters would be putting bears at risk - shooting the first bear they saw before determining its gender and age. Other expressed their concerns about this leading to the commercialization of bears, and others voicing that using bait is unnecessary.

Myers also explains that the proposal to restrict Game Land restrictions is to help with the foot traffic on high use Game Lands. One in particular, Stones Creek. Myers says the commission is considering restricting some activities on the lands on certain days of the weeks.

Concerned individuals voiced that because of restricting some activities to certain days, that this could limit hunters opportunities to go out and hunt.

Myers states that before any changes are made, all of the concerns expressed at the meeting will be taken into consideration.

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